One of my favorite things to do at a Young Life camp is to shop. Crazy I know? But usually they open their little camp store for us during an afternoon and I rush over and try to look at every little thing, because in addition to the fact that there is not a cooler t-shirt in the world than a Young Life shirt (except maybe this one), they also have begun to stock just generally awesome products. Sweet water bottles. Bandanas in every possible color. Leather necklaces with silver peace signs. The space in a Young Life camp shop is a little slice of oooh…come over here right now and look at this!
Everyone is rushing around and trying on shirts. We’re all, oh I love that one! I am thinking about that one for so-and-so. Do you think he’ll like it? They are so famous for their shirts that Daddy handed me a twenty in the parking lot before I left so I could pick one up for him.
Last year my favorite find were these sleek journals. They are filled with great quotes, and they seem to cry out to be tossed in your satchel and written in. I wanted all of them, but managed to leave with just two. One for a journey and one for a birthday gift for a friend. This year I bought a bag that I absolutely love instead of a t-shirt. I have been carrying it since we got back and it just feels like summer to me. (Of course, I know it’s not summer yet. Just trying to get over the blizzard by pretending.)
Several of us also passed some time in front of a card display that brought us to tears. I don’t usually buy cards. I make them or write on an index card or a gift tag. And if I do buy cards, I don’t make a habit of paying $3 for a one. For $3, I should be getting a package of 10 cards.
Friends, these cards were so great that I left that store with four of them. I might have been a little under the influence of shopping with friends. Always a bit hazardous. But ohhh, these cards! They are so great. I found them online so you can understand how great.
Though you can view the cards online, you cannot beat a real live in-person visit to a Young Life Camp Store with your friends. The memories around that one purchase will cause you to hold on to that shirt even after it is long past its wearable stage.
Here’s Mary Polly wearing the shirt I bought her the last time I was in this same camp store. Five years ago. Even though it has a couple of little holes in it, I’m saving it for Simon to wear. I’m sentimental like that.